Does the Military Provide Tuition Assistance in Graduate School?

Military Tuition AssistanceEvery branch of the military offers some type of tuition assistance for enlisted men and women, but some of those students want to know is they receive any military tuition assistance in graduate school. Graduate school programs are only open to students who already have a bachelor’s degree and those who enroll in combined programs that let them complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree together. Those enlisted in the military can receive tuition assistance when they enroll in accredited college programs.

Tuition Assistance Programs

According to Student Financial Aid Services, students can receive tuition assistance if they enlist in the army, marines, national guard, air force, coat guard, navy or reserves. Reserves are a branch of the military that requires less of a commitment than the other branches do. After going through an introductory training program, reserves may only spend one weekend each month on duty and have the chance to go home when not on duty. Each branch has different limitations regarding how much assistance students receive.

What Do the Programs Cover?

Students looking at whether they qualify for military tuition assistance in graduate school often want to know what the programs will cover. These programs cover most of the costs that students have when attending an institution of higher learning. The programs cover tuition, which refers to the amount that students pay just for taking classes. They can also use those funds to cover the cost of any fees associated with the school or their courses. Students should keep in mind that these programs only cover courses they take while not on duty. There are some programs, however, that will cover the cost of online courses that students take after enlisting.

Are There Any Limits?

Though the military does offer financial assistance, there are limits in place regarding how much assistance students receive. According to, the air force, army and marines will only pay up to $4,500 per fiscal year and the navy will only pay for 16 credit hours of courses completed every fiscal year. Other branches, including the coast guard, will only pay for 75% of a student’s tuition provided it is less than $2,200 in a fiscal year. Students typically pay for their classes on their own and later submit paperwork that shows what they paid. The military will then reimburse them up to the limit.

Other Programs for Military Men and Women

There are other options for students hoping to receive military tuition assistance in graduate school. Students can use the Free Application for Student Financial Aid to see if they qualify for grants that they do not pay back or for loans that require students pay back the amount they borrow plus interest. Some colleges, particularly online colleges, also offer tuition discounts for enlisted students. Their spouses and any children they have may also qualify for a discounted rate at one of those schools. After leaving the military, students may also receive veterans benefits to pay for college.

Related Resource: International Civil Aviation Organization

All of the branches of the United States military offer some form of tuition assistance that enlisted men and women can use when attending graduate school or working on a bachelor’s degree. The amount of military tuition assistance in graduate school available to students depends on the branch they enlist in but is usually a few thousand dollars or more each year.